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Online Annual Reviews From 2015

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This post is part of a series called Weeks of Web Design Inspiration.
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The end of every year sees companies of all kinds posting annual reviews; some list their own achievements, some feature those of their users. Some do so with a simple blog post, others pull out all the stops and present their previous twelve months as creatively as possible. Let’s see if we can draw inspiration from some 2015 annual reviews!

Scroll, Like You’ve Never Scrolled Before

In recent years scrolling, for better or worse, has become the common method of choice for presenting staggered data. We’ll kick off with the MailChimp 2015 review, if only for those glorious duotone color combinations:

Do as you’re told

This seriously long page has a gradient background which gives the effect of a subtle color change as you scroll downward.

Coupled with transparent PNG images, which overlay each other as you scroll, the end result is pretty tasty. You can mimic what they’ve done here by taking a look at Kezz Bracey’s Create a Masked Background Effect With CSS.

Behance opted for similarly knockout colors, along with scrolling and their most notable statistics:

Campaign Monitor also plumped for scrolling interaction, mixing in some parallax for good measure, along with bold color schemes, gradients, and community statistics:

Facebook went beyond simple vertical scrolling, instead highlighting its top ten most talked-about topics of 2015 in a vertical, horizontal, video, slideshow extravaganza:


Many organisations chose video as their medium for looking back at 2015. The Year on Twitter presents hashtags from the last twelve months–opening with #JeSuisParis and #BlackLivesMatter, but finishing with a more uplifting #LoveWins:

YouTube rewound for a celebratory look at the music, films, and people who defined 2015 for them. High production value and solid audio, as you’d expect:

Calling a Spade a Spade

Other organizations avoided bells and whistles, instead presenting their 2015 review in simple (and highly performant) article form. Take Digg, for example, who used their standard format to list the best of “what got the tongues wagging”:

Hats off to Jason Arias for the gratuitous tongue illustrations.

Chris, Tim and Alex have had plenty to shout about after a monster year at CodePen; an understated blog post did the job of getting the message across perfectly:

Search Engines

Facebook and Twitter gave us a very good idea of what people were talking about in 2015, but search engines like Google and Bing filled in the gaps with their trends. I can lose days on Google Trends, so exploring the Year in Search is not something I recommend if you’re busy: 

Google also gave us a video to sum things up:

Layout Choices

This split screen layout was also used by Vox, who used the left of their 2015 review layout to list top articles, metrics, features and highlights, with the right displaying a series of rich illustrations:

Product Design Weekly gave us a summary of all the highlights they’ve published during the past year. Bold 8bit aesthetics and a full grid thanks to Packery (by Metafizzy) present 2015 in product design very nicely:

Other Worthy Links

Here are some other annual reviews you might want to check out (leave your suggestions in the comments if you think there are others which deserve a mention!) Some of the other examples are taken from themes for sale on Envato Market. You may find them useful if you’re making your own annual review web page.

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